10 Best Mom and Pop Restaurants in Kentucky

Out of town visitors and locals alike love the taste of home-cooking and Kentucky has a wealth of great mom and pop spots that feature the ultimate in country comfort food. Independently owned and family operated, these eateries boast classic country food in a friendly casual atmosphere. 

Proof on Main, Louisville, KY

There’s nothing better than finding a great little diner with down home Southern comfort food. Unless it’s a little diner that features local artists and their amazing art on the walls. That’s what you’ll get a Proof on Main in downtown Louisville. In additional to deliciously funky menu items like the charred octopus or the chicken liver pate, they have a nice selection of vegan and vegetarian food. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Proof On Main (@proofonmain) on

Laha’s Red Castle, Hodgenville, KY

Hodgenville is home to a local favorite burger joint, Laha’s Red Castle Hamburgers. This family owned gem has modest yet classic American atmosphere. Their burgers, onion rings, fries, chili dogs, and other fare do not disappoint; once you try something off the menu you’ll realize what locals and visitors are buzzing about it. Be prepared for a crowd, this place is known to bring a large crowd.

Fort Wright Family Restaurant, Fort Wright, KY

Fort Wright Family Restaurant is a great little mom and pop diner with the look, feel, taste, and smell of home. The atmosphere is laid back, so anytime you’re craving delicious downhome cooking at great prices, this is the place to visit. You’ll be drooling just thinking about their mound of mashed potatoes holding a pool of gravy. Check out the corned beef and Swiss cheese omelet for a special treat. 

Pop’s Southern Style BBQ, Morehead, KY

It’s not often that you hear someone call sandwiches addicting, but that’s what folks say about the burgers from Pop’s Southern Style BBQ. Known for large portions and great prices, Pop’s also has delicious hand-breaded catfish and the best beef brisket east of the Mississippi. If you have room for dessert, their hand-spun milkshakes are worth trying. Keep in mind that they are seasonal, so make sure to check their Facebook page to see if they are open before heading over for a hearty meal!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bill Konway (@billkonway) on

Cookies Diner, Florence, KY

Maybe you’ll be breaking your diet eating the fluffy mashed potatoes and perfectly made gravy and biscuits, but you’ll go home happy and content when you eat at Cookies Diner in Florence. This family-owned diner is the place to go when you want good food the way Grandma made it. The friendly service, quaint atmosphere, and delicious menu have people infatuated with this diner. Keep in mind that this is a cash only diner!

Windy Corner Market, Lexington, KY

Right in the middle of horse country, Windy Corner Market in Lexington offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner made with locally-sourced ingredients from around the Bluegrass State. This little mom and pop diner has the look and feel of an old-time country store, complete with reclaimed wood and bead board on the walls and a screened-in porch in the back. They also have handmade ice cream and freshly baked items that you can take home, and if you really like the food, you can have them cater your next event. 

The Whistle Stop, Glendale, KY

With home-cooked food like fried green tomatoes, catfish, and country ham, it doesn’t get more Southern country than this. Eating at The Whistle Stop in Glendale is like going home for dinner. What started out as a simple mom and pop sandwich shop more 40 years ago evolved into one of the best restaurants in this part of Kentucky. You’ll find the same great food and excellent service, though, because that’s something that won’t be compromised. Make sure to save room for one of their famous award-winning meringue pies.

Eastgate Family Restaurant, Henderson, KY

Eastgate Family Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy the simplicity of great homecooked food. It might be the barbecue beef and turnip greens or fried potatoes and white beans, but whatever you order, you can count on it being made with love. Huge portions, great atmosphere, and descent prices await you at this family diner in Henderson.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tri-State Dining (@tristatedining) on

Home Café & Marketplace, Bowling Green, KY,

You wouldn’t think of a deli being a great place to take the family for dinner, but you haven’t eaten at Home Café & Marketplace yet. Bowling Green is the location of this friendly little mom and pop deli/diner that has classic and creative takes on sandwiches, salad, pizza, and more. Proud to offer Kentucky products in everything they make, this is just about the best food outside of your mom’s kitchen. 

Christi’s Cafe, Valley Station, KY

Christi’s Cafe is open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves a great meal at a great price. It’ll be hard to miss the white building with the pink ad black awning. Their retro and quaint appearance on the outside certainly matches the atmosphere on the inside, the friendly staff will give you major mid-century vibes. It’s fun to look at the photos on the wall of familiar faces from the 1950s while you’re waiting for your food. Prices won’t leave your wallet empty either. Definitely worth driving to experience. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by LOUISVILLE SITES + BITES (@louisvillesitesandbites) on

Select a Kentucky town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Find Mom & Pop Restaurants Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Adair County

Allen County

Anderson County

Ballard County

Barren County

Bath County

Bell County

Boone County

Bourbon County

Boyd County

Boyle County

Bracken County

Breathitt County

Breckinridge County

Bullitt County

Butler County

Caldwell County

Calloway County

Campbell County

Carlisle County

Carroll County

Carter County

Casey County

Christian County

Clark County

Clay County

Clinton County

Crittenden County

Cumberland County

Daviess County

Edmonson County

Elliott County

Estill County

Fayette County

Fleming County

Floyd County

Franklin County

Fulton County

Gallatin County

Garrard County

Grant County

Graves County

Grayson County

Green County

Greenup County

Hancock County

Hardin County

Harlan County

Harrison County

Hart County

Henderson County

Henry County

Hickman County

Hopkins County

Jackson County

Jefferson County

Jessamine County

Johnson County

Kenton County

Knott County

Knox County

Larue County

Laurel County

Lawrence County

Lee County

Leslie County

Letcher County

Lewis County

Lincoln County

Livingston County

Logan County

Lyon County

Madison County

Magoffin County

Marion County

Marshall County

Martin County

Mason County

Mccracken County

Mccreary County

Mclean County

Meade County

Menifee County

Mercer County

Metcalfe County

Monroe County

Montgomery County

Morgan County

Muhlenberg County

Nelson County

Nicholas County

Ohio County

Oldham County

Owen County

Owsley County

Pendleton County

Perry County

Pike County

Powell County

Pulaski County

Robertson County

Rockcastle County

Rowan County

Russell County

Scott County

Shelby County

Simpson County

Spencer County

Taylor County

Todd County

Trigg County

Trimble County

Union County

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County

Webster County

Whitley County

Wolfe County

Woodford County